I wonder if there are any professional audio multi-track recorders that match the tape width, number of tracks and tack pitch and have the necessary frequency response.

On 2/7/2022 3:05 PM, Marc Howard via cctech wrote:
8 track tapes use 1/4" wide tape.  Most 8 track units use heads with only
two tracks implemented.  There was a stepper solenoid that moved the head
down (or up after all 4 stereo programs were played).  Growing up in the
60s you never forget things like listening to In-A-Gadda-Da_Vida fade in
the middle of the drum solo and a loud "klunk-klunk" sound and the song

Some true 8 track heads were made for mastering pre-recorded tapes and
maybe for consumer recorders.


On Mon, Feb 7, 2022 at 12:51 PM Michael Thompson via cctech <
cctech@classiccmp.org> wrote:

DECtapes have 5x redundant tracks. If you could find an 8-track head that
had the same track pitch, and maybe track width, you could read the tape
but lose redundancy on the Mark and Timing tracks. That probably would not
work with a marginal DECtape.

On Mon, Feb 7, 2022 at 3:33 PM Wayne S <wayne.su...@hotmail.com> wrote:

I’ve often wondered if the tape heads from consumer tape devices such as
cassette or 4-8 track tape players could be used or be made to be used as
replacements. Anybody ever try that?

Sent from my iPhone

On Feb 7, 2022, at 11:51, Michael Thompson via cctech <
cctech@classiccmp.org> wrote:

From: Gary Oliver <g...@aerodesic.com>
Subject: DECTape head problem

In debugging my DECtape interface lashup, I found that one of my head
has two open windings.? Specifically, one channel has an open 'ground'
with the other two lines apparently the full winding of the channel.?
The second channel failing has no continuity between any of the three
lines.? I have tested the other head and it has all the requisite
continuity so I'm hoping I can at least get a single spindle running.

Has any ever attempted repair of one of these?


At the Rhode Island Computer Museum we found several DECtape heads on
and TU56 drives with open connections. A volunteer got one head X-Rayed
we could see the solder joints between the tiny wires for the head
and the larger twinax wires that go to the relay board. We couldn't see
damage to the wires or solder joints.

We tried heating the potting material to soften it, and digging it out
get to the solder joints. While digging at the potting material you
see the tiny wires, so they will likely get damaged.

We considered using a solvent to remove the potting material, but
that it would eat the enamel off the head coil wires and damage them

So far we haven't found a way to repair the heads.

Michael Thompson

Michael Thompson

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